Here are 3 easy but powerful steps in standing up for yourself.
3 Easy but Powerful Steps in Standing Up for Yourself
Times come in everyone’s life: you have to stand up for yourself!
It might be with a:
- college professor who gave you a grade you don’t agree with
- significant other who is forgetting to be kind
- boss who is taking his frustrations out on you
- leader in an organization who is taking advantage of your skill and time
- friend who wants you to do all the work in the relationship
- doctor who isn’t listening well to you
- cashier who is snarky
Whatever the event, there are 3 easy but powerful steps in standing up for yourself.
Step 1. Take a deep breath and lower your emotions.
You lose your power when you yell. Did you catch that? You loose your power when you yell!
The only thing that yelling does is put people on the defensive and when they are defensive they don’t listen. When they don’t listen, you’re powerless to make a change.
Step 2: Use +-+. Plus-minus-plus is the 3- or 4-sentence magic formula in standing up for yourself.
Plus: Say something polite or complimentary. ONE sentence. Even if you’re angry, you can do this. Saying something polite lowers the overall anger level in a room and helps the other person to become more receptive.
Minus: Say what the problem is. ONE sentence. Then, what you would like done about it. ONE sentence. No demands, instead say something like, “What I would like is…” “What is need is…” “This will make things feel better…”.
Plus: Something kind or complimentary. ONE sentence. Say something like “Thanks for listening…” “I appreciate the help”.
Step 3: Step back, be quiet, create some space for the other person to do something healthy.
Silence is a powerful tool. You might feel like talking on and on until you get everything out, but in a tense situation the person who is listening will probably not pay attention to anything after the 10th word. So really, you have 10 words to make your point (that’s the Minus section of your +-+). Then stop!
What you will have accomplished at this point is:
- You will have shown that you are a powerful person to be reckoned with.
- The other person may adopt your idea (and very often come out of a +-+ situation feeling like your idea is their idea).
- Even if you aren’t heard in this first round, you have opened the door for healthy negotiation.
Give it a try! When you’re ready for more help learning to advocate for yourself, contact me for coaching in person or by phone.